|My beautiful snuggly niece|
I drank no wine at the work Christmas do. But I did have the convenient excuse of driving down to Exeter immediately afterwards. No wine at the wedding last weekend, despite being surrounded with champagne glasses. But in a largely Christian crowd, that's not unusual. I'm missing out on brie and pate. We shopped for brandy butter, but the supermarket had run out, so there's no smidge of brandy-flavoured sweetness to decide whether or not to forgo.
My parents, sisters and brothers in law know. We opted not to tell grandparents and assorted uncles, aunts and cousins yet. Tomorrow we'll see Rob's family and we'll tell them. (My mother in law will be delighted, hugging me with tears in her eyes).
There's plenty of talk of babies. My niece is 5 weeks and a bit. She's getting lots of cuddles from grandparents and aunties and her great grandma, who is smitten with her. This time last year, she didn't exist. This time next year, all being well, she'll have a new cousin.
I was apprehensive about Christmas. The celebration of a special baby. The miracle of childless Elizabeth conceiving John. It was a struggle to focus on the hope and joy instead of my own pain as I listened to readings and sermons in the weeks leading up to it. Now, unexpectedly, there's only joy.
Mine is no holy baby. Just the ordinary miracle of conception. But I am grateful, for the sudden feeling of being included where I had felt excluded.